MICHAEL Shenton is warning his St Helens team-mates not to take Featherstone Rovers lightly in Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round clash at Halton Stadium (3pm).
The England centre, who joined Saints from Super League rivals Castleford Tigers at the end of last season, is acutely aware of Featherstone’s cup pedigree.
“Featherstone have a great Challenge Cup tradition and they will see this game as their chance to grab another place in cup folklore,” said Shenton (pictured).
“They’ll be fired up at the chance to play against Super League opposition and this is a massive game for them.
“I’ve played in Cas teams beaten by Championship opposition and it’s not a good feeling. It’s also something I don’t want to experience again.
“We got a real fright in the fourth round when Sheffield Eagles gave us a big challenge and Featherstone are going to be even tougher.
“I spent some time with their coach, Daryl Powell, at the recent Elite Training Squad camp and I know from what he said that they’re not going to be overawed.
“Daryl played at the highest level and is a top quality coach – he wouldn’t be on the England staff if he wasn’t – so we’re expecting them to be very well prepared.
“They will have seen what happened to us at Huddersfield last week and fancy they can do the same. We know we have to improve and have trained accordingly.
“This tie is something I’m looking forward to. So are all the boys.
“One of the reasons for me leaving Castleford was to have more chances to win major honours and there aren’t many teams with a better Challenge Cup record than St Helens.
“The club has been in the last five Grand Finals but they’ve missed out on Wembley in the last couple of years and that’s something we want to put right.
“A good win on Sunday would take us nearer a return to Wembley and also give us the momentum we’ve been looking for in Super League.”
Tickets for Sunday’s St Helens-Featherstone tie cost from £15 (£9 concessions, £3 juniors) payable on the day or in advance by calling 01744 751419 or visiting www.saintssuperstore.com/
Tickets for the 2011 Carnegie Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 27, costs from £21 to £76 and are selling fast. Last year’s final was a sell-out and fans are advised to move quickly to secure their seat at the historic showpiece final. To book tickets call 0844 856 1113 or visit www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
For more information about the Carnegie Challenge Cup visit www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk